I’ve been using dark chocolate bars to make dark chocolate fruit bark (recipe coming in my next post) and it got me wondering about which chocolate is best. There are SO many quality dark chocolate bars on the market and to be honest I haven’t tasted many. I have been using Green & Black’s bars to make the bark chips. I’ve been very happy with the taste and results but I figured I should try some others before settling on one brand. So I have decided to do a taste test of 4 different dark chocolate bars. All purchased from Whole Foods and all 70% cacao.
The chocolate bars in this taste test are Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate, Madecasse Madagascar Pure Dark Chocolate, Lily’s Extra Dark, and Theo’s Pure Dark Chocolate.
I’m going straight to the point with this review. The specs for each bar is below.
Green & Black’s
Organic, yes. Calories, 240. Saturated fat, 10g, Trans fat, 0. Sodium, 20g. Sugar, 11g. Protein, 4g.
Ingredients- Organic Bittersweet Chocolate, Organic Raw Sugar Cane, Organic Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin (emulsifier), Organic Vanilla Extract.
Price- $4.19 Size 3.5oz
Organic, yes. Calories, 230, Saturated fat, 10g. Trans fat, 0. Sodium, 10mg, Sugar, 11g. Protein 3g.
Ingredients- Organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, Organic Sunflower Lecithin (emulsifier).
Price- $3.99 Size- 2.64
Organic, no (it is not stated on the package so I will assume it is not). Calories, 230, Saturated fat, 10g. Trans fat, 0. Sodium, 0. Sugar, less than 1g. Erythritol 7g, Protein 3g.
Ingredients- Unsweetened chocolate, Erythritol, Inulin, Cocoa butter, Stevia extract, Organic Soy Lecithin (emulsifier), Vanilla.
Price- $3.99 Size-2.8oz
Organic, yes. Calories, 210, Saturated fat, 10g. Trans fat, 0. Sodium, 0. Sugar, 13g. Protein 3g.
Ingredients- Organic cocoa beans, Organic cane sugar, Organic cocoa butter, Organic ground vanilla bean.
Price- $3.79 Size- 3oz
As you can see the chocolate bars have, for the most part, the same ingredients with a few variations. They also, pretty much have the same amount of sugar except for Lily’s.
Let me answer some questions you may have after reading the ingredient lists.
Soy or Sunflower Lecithin, what is it? These are emulsifiers. Ok, what’s an emulsifier? To emulsify means to make into or become one. Simply put lecithin is what keeps the cocoa butter and the cocoa from separating. Most companies use some sort of emulsifier in their chocolate. It is very difficult to find chocolate without any emulsifiers. BUT not impossible! Theo’s does not contain any soy or any lecithin. Round of applause! 👏🏾 👏🏾 The label also states their chocolate is suitable for vegans. Theo Chocolate
Erythritol, Inulin?? Say what?
Lily’s is a brand that uses stevia instead of sugar and is vegan. However, it also has ingredients that to be completely honest, sound like chemicals made in a lab somewhere. I like to buy things that don’t require me to use Google to know what I’m eating. I digress. Back to the ingredients.
According to Wikipedia and Dr. Mercola, Inulin is a type of water-soluble prebiotic fiber. Most often extracted from chicory. It is found in wheat, onion, bananas, asparagus, and of course chicory among other types of plants. Ok, so maybe not so bad after all. It is said to have about 10% the sweetness of sugar and can be used in place of sugar.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol. It is processed from corn to create glucose, a type of sugar. So these along with stevia is how Lily’s sweetens the bitter cocoa without using regular sugar. Is this better…you decide. Lilys Chocolate
Now to what I consider to be the most important part of any taste test, the taste!
In order from my least favorite to the best is…
4. Madecasse- It is smooth on the tongue and it almost has a hint of cherry flavor to me. Not an artificial cherry flavor, like real cherries but I didn’t enjoy it. There is also an unpleasant aftertaste that lingered in my mouth. I really did not like this chocolate bar. I don’t know if the exclusion of vanilla hindered the taste but it was definitely my least favorite. Madecasse
3. Lily’s- To have the least amount of regular sugar, Lily’s still tastes quite good! It is noticeably less sweet on the tongue but very enjoyable. It’s great for those who are vegan and those who prefer stevia to sugar. I would recommend reading more about inulin and erythritol to determine if these are ingredients you’re comfortable with.
2. Green & Black’s- This is a solid dark chocolate bar in my opinion. I don’t really have anything negative to say about it. It’s smooth and has a perfect balance of bitter to sweet but definitely not what I would classify as being very sweet. It’s 70% cacao so it’s not going to be very sweet, which is good. I would highly recommend this bar. Green & Blacks Chocolate
1. Theo’s- Theo’s and Green & Black’s are equal in taste for me but Theo’s doesn’t contain any soy and I know that can be an issue for some people. Whether it be a soy allergy or just a desire to eliminate it from your diet, Theo’s chocolate is the way to go if you want a delicious dark chocolate without any soy. Theo’s also doesn’t have any sodium but it does have 2 grams more sugar than Green & Black’s so that might be something for you to consider. Although 2 grams of sugar is less than 1 teaspoon so I do not think it’s a huge difference.
A good thing about all of these brands is that none of them are processed with alkali or dutch processed, which is another name for it. The Dutch process reduces the bitterness and also darkens the color but as a result, it also reduces the power of the flavanols in the cocoa. So the end product doesn’t have nearly the same level of health benefits as chocolate which hasn’t been dutched. Flavanols in cocoa are said to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve glucose metabolism, improve brain health, and maintain blood vessel health- all good things!
All that said, I would enjoy quality dark chocolate bars in moderation and small amounts. I would not recommend eating huge amounts daily. Although you may want to. Now what to do with all of this lovely dark chocolate: Dark Chocolate Fruit Bark
I hope you enjoyed this post. I enjoyed the tasting! Thanks for reading. ☺️
*I am not a doctor. Consult a medical professional or nutritionist with any health-related questions or concerns regarding chocolate.